In this week's JAMA, Psaty and colleagues1 present findings from a case-control study that raise the possibility, but cannot evaluate definitively, whether calcium channel blockers prescribed for patients with hypertension increase risk of myocardial infarction. This retrospective study among enrollees of the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound compared those who had suffered a myocardial infarction (cases) with those who had not (controls), with respect to their prior use of various antihypertensive drug therapies. The authors reported that risk of myocardial infarction increased about 60% (risk ratio=1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 2.3) among hypertensive patients treated with a calcium channel blocker compared with those treated with diuretics alone, and this apparent adverse effect was even greater among those treated with high doses.
See also p 620.
Unfortunately, media reporting of the presentation of these findings at a recent scientific meeting triggered concern among users of these and
Buring JE, Glynn RJ, Hennekens CH. Calcium Channel Blockers and Myocardial InfarctionA Hypothesis Formulated but Not Yet Tested. JAMA. 1995;274(8):654-655. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530080070044